This is the first time I’ve ever read a novel by Lucinda Riley, and it certainly won’t be the last. I’m a huge fan of the mystery thriller genre, and The Love Letter certainly didn’t disappoint.
Set in London in 1995, the passing of famous actor, Sir James Harrison acts as the catalyst for events within the novel. Young journalist Joanna Haslam is inadvertently set upon the road to discovering Sir James’ secret; a secret he kept from everyone he loved, leading her into a dense web of danger and deceit. She soon discovers that the secret is so shocking that some will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried for all time.
Enticed by the synopsis, I found myself hooked from the very first chapter. The storytelling is compelling and the story gripping, leaving the reader eager to turn the page. As expected with the genre, The Love Letter delivers more than its fair share of twists and turns, and Lucinda Riley has skilfully woven little hints and clues into the narrative along the way for the curious reader to try to piece together the puzzle themselves.
The novel is very easy to dip in and out of, which as a busy Mum of two, meant I could snatch a few pages here and there without losing the thread of the story or without having any negative bearing on my enjoyment of the story. It’s the perfect read for busy Mums (and Dads!) like myself, commuters – or anyone who finds their reading time interrupted regularly.
This book was a very enjoyable read and I found myself increasingly looking forward to finding time to sit and read as the novel progressed, desperate to find out if my theory was correct, so much so I’ve seen in the early hours a couple of times with this novel!
The ending was great and very satisfying, but I have to say that I loved the way in which the epilogue cleverly suggests that fact and fiction are in fact closer than we think. It has certainly got my brain ticking over!
I give The Love Letter a very enthusiastic 4/5. It only drops one star because I had managed to figure out the secret before the conclusion, so it did lose a little of the impact for me – but it was still an excellent read, which I highly recommend.
1995, London. When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of 95 he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, so devastating that it could rock the English establishment to its core. Joanna Haslam is an ambitious young journalist, assigned to cover the legendary actor’s funeral. The great and the good of the celebrity world are there. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind, the contents of which others have been desperate to conceal for over 70 years. As she peels back the veil of lies that has shrouded the secret, she realizes that there are other forces attempting to prevent her from discovering the truth. And they’ll stop at nothing to reach the letter before she does.
*I received a copy of The Love Letter via Netgalley from the publishers Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.